Working.

…and homeschooling.

First, I know people who work outside the home and homeschool, and things are working for them. Because of this, I know it can be done. But I don’t know how – I don’t do it myself, and this is my story, so I’m not going to address working outside the home.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

woman-1459220_1280Since we have had children, I have stayed home, and most of the time, I have worked. Wait. I’ve ALWAYS worked, and sometimes hard, just on family needs. But I’ve done additional work to bring in some cash – usually very small amounts, but sometimes more. The thing is, even small amounts can add up. Here are some of the things I’ve done:

social media manager
(work and time intensive, but can be very lucrative.)

taught private lessons

did basic VA/secretarial work (online)

written book reviews

written product reviews

written a blog

worked in direct sales

completed reviews

played games and watched videos
(yes, ugh, happily the kids are usually quite happy to assist with this!)

sold on eBay, Amazon, and Etsy

sold baked goods from home

run a Bed and Breakfast (most work intensive, and the hardest, for me, to work around schoolwork)

website support – some web design, mostly web re-design

I’m probably leaving something out, but you get the idea. And I’m serous when I say small amounts add up. I (well, we, the boys helped) earned enough Swaybacks to purchase a $150 water distiller. It took months, but it didn’t have to come out of the budget. I ordered that in 2012 and we still use it daily. I’ve been spending a couple years (yes, really) accruing MyPoints. I have enough to cash in on something, but I’m going to wait until it’s “something” we really need or want. This past summer, I either designed re-designed websites for a few clients, and earned more than enough money to purchase some much desired books.

When do I work? When the children do. When they are working on their assignments, I’m working on mine. I also work before they get up, in the evenings, and while they are having free time. I have learned to work in small bites. Just like small amounts of money add up and can make a big difference if you have a place, small amounts of time can be leveraged as well.

It’s hard (no whining, this is a factual statement) to run a business that is brick-and-mortar, or rather, in a set place, when you’re on the road often. I loved teaching private lessons, and I really enjoyed running the B&B (in spite of how the work was just never done…), but neither will work with the combination of our family lifestyle and my mental disposition. So, I’ve turned my attention to working online. I have found it to be much more forgiving and flexible – when I have the time, I can fairly quickly take on more work. When I have less time, I can generally plan a work reduction (and plan for less income).

The thing is, you can work at a business or job, or you can work at small jobs here and there. At the risk of sound like a cliché, the internet opens up nearly infinite possibilities. Keep looking, and you will find a way that not only lets you work, but works for you.